Heaven help me, I cannot stop making Karate Kid movie references.  This isn't even karate. It's a Korean martial art called Tang Soo Do.  Perhaps I'll have to go back and watch Kung Fu one more time so I can allude to a second pop culture reference about a martial art that's not actually what she's doing.

We attended our first martial arts tournament last weekend and The Dormouse competed.  She needs to compete in at least one tournament in order to take her next belt test and this one fell on a convenient Saturday so we thought we'd get it over with.  But I think now the bug has bit her and we might be attending more that just the one that's required.  The Dormouse took fifth place in form and fourth place in fighting.  I tried to get a photo of her really excited face, but this being her first tournament, she never knew quite what to expect next and pretty much looked like a deer in headlights throughout the whole thing.   

This is gonna come off all mom-braggy and maybe it is, but I'm really proud of her and all she accomplishes. As a professional Jack of All Trades myself, I can relate to her desire to do as many different things as she does.  And, like me, the basics of so many things come pretty easily for her.  She picked up piano, violin, crafts, crochet, sewing, and now ice skating and mastered a basic level of competence handily.  But even I never had the guts to attempt something like this.  

But also like me, there's a point at which when things start to require real work and are no longer easy for her, she starts to lose interest. My concern as her parent is what to do then.  I don't need her to be the best at everything she does; that's never been my concern.  But I do want her to learn how to work for something. I want her to understand the value of practice and discipline and preparation.  I want her to try really, really hard for something and then to complete it and maybe not even win, but just feel good about herself because she did better than she ever thought she would.  This is going to be our challenge with this one: how to instill a sense of value into the things that come so easily for her. If any of you figure out how to do that, can you please let me know so I can maybe send her to live with you when she's a teenager?

Until then, here's a photo essay from a really fun day.